In April we begin to tend gardens.  
                                            We cultivate the land, breaking up the soil
                                                     and preparing to plant seeds.  
                                                       Fertilizer is mulched into the ground.
                                                Furrows are dug to hold the seeds of life.  
                                                   The land is soaked gently with water.  
                                                 The sun penetrates the top soil
                                                        with its warmth and energy.  
                                                  New sprouts of life eventually appear.      

  Gardening is a form of art and beauty.  
Care is brought to every detail of the growing process.
Some intuition is called for…
some instinctual wisdom comes into play.  

The gardener understands the seasons,                                               
the process of growth, and its ending.                                             
When is the best time to plant the seeds…                                           
will we get another frost?                                             
Too much water or heat can destroy                                         
the first shoots of life.                                                   
Weeding out pests is essential for the                                                  
development of growth and fruitfulness.                                               
Harvest is a matter of timing when the ripening catharsis evolves.  

  Our souls are a garden.
In Song of Songs 4:12 we read,
“You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride;
you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain.”

In art therapy we might be asked
to imagine what our souls look like if they were gardens.  
Then we attempt to draw, color, or paint                                   
a picture of the image that appeared.                                 
One individual imagined his garden                                 
full of weeds that stood 10 to 15 feet tall!                             
This became a place to start a soul journey                                
around the care of his inner garden,                      
pulling weeds that had been allowed                               
to grow for years and years.                                     

  What does your garden look like?  
How have you tended your soul-garden?
Do you have soil that needs tilling?  
Do you have any seeds?
In what kind of soil are your seeds planted?  
Do your plants need watering or more sunlight?  
What kind of fertilizer are you using as a soul gardener?  
These are questions to mull over.  

Antonio Machado has written a poem that speaks to this very subject.  
As a young adult after his first job,
it occurred to him that his soul was dead—
do you know the feeling?

The Wind One Brilliant Day

The wind, one brilliant day, called                                                  
To my soul with an odor of jasmine.                                               
“In return for the odor of jasmine,                                                  
I’d like all the odor of your roses.”                                                 

 “I have no roses;                                                            
All the flowers in my garden are dead.”                                             

“Well, then, I’ll take the withered petals                                           
And the yellow leaves                                           
And the waters of the fountain.”                                         

The wind left.  And I wept.

And I said to myself:
“What have you done with the garden
That was entrusted to you?”
                                                  Antonio Machado